I lived in Maryland when first homeschooling my girls and the school board is pretty relaxed with the curriculum. You can use a traditional curriculum and workbooks or create your own, as long as the children are given an overall education. Truthfully, my kids were bored to tears with workbooks and textbooks, so I decided to make a curriculum that would really stimulate their senses and be fun at the same time.
I knew my daughters liked learning about other lands and people, so I bought a world map and taped it to the dining room wall—-our makeshift classroom for many years. Each week I would choose one of the girls, have her close her eyes, spin her around a few times, then have her place her finger on the map. Wherever she pointed, that would be our subject for the coming week.
For example, one time my youngest pointed to Alaska. We made a trip to the library — the most important resource for homeschooling parents — and chose several books on Alaska, it’s history, people, the language, foods, and crafts. We even found a CD with Inuit music. Over the weekend I put this into lessons for the week which focused on Geography, Geology, Anthropology, Art, Language, History, and so on. We learned some of their phrases, cooked up some native food, and in the background I would play the CD during lessons. I got a lot of helpful hints from using the Charlotte Mason method. The only thing we had to add to this interesting way of studying was math.
This was incredibly fun, even for me, and the girls stayed interested all through elementary and middle school. I didn’t have to help much with any of their homework either. Now that they’re in college — even my 16-year-old — I can see how those world-curriculum lessons have broadened their horizons. My youngest wants to become a photojournalist and travel. Another one of my daughters is taking multiple language courses, and another is taking classes in foreign management.
I’m looking forward to having grandchildren and teaching them these lessons as well.